Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have joined colleagues in advocating for an Air National Guard C-130 aircraft fleet to support active duty missions and domestic emergencies.
Duckworth and Durbin were among the 18 lawmakers penning and forwarding correspondence to the Armed Services Committee advocating for a large enough C-130 aircraft fleet in Illinois and nationwide.
Duckworth is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years. Durbin is ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
“Our Air National Guard C-130 flying wings provide nearly half of the Air Force’s tactical airlift capability,” the legislators wrote. “For more than 50 years, we have brought Americans into combat, provided humanitarian relief around the globe, and supported domestic response throughout the nation. As the Air Force proposes changes to align our force structure with the National Defense Strategy (NDS), it is vitally important we do not trade experience and knowhow in pursuit of expensive, less defined capabilities.”
The lawmakers maintain the ANG C-130 fleet has been the backbone of the nation’s tactical airlift capability for a generation.
“Our ANG wings have built experience and expertise through repeated deployments and domestic operations,” the legislators concluded. “Hard choices will be required as we restructure the Air Force to face future foreign and domestic challenges. Therefore, we must make informed, data-driven decisions as we manage the C-130 fleet. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to incorporate House Section 1043 supporting a [Total Aircraft Inventory] of 292 C-130 Aircraft in the final Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.”